Darwin, Charles. 1871, 1874, 1888. The Descent of Man. Chapter 2 - On the Manner of Development of Man from Some Lower Form
* Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication,
vol. ii., chap. xii.
(2) Hereditary Genius: an Inquiry into its Laws and
I have elsewhere so fully discussed the subject of
Inheritance, that I need here add hardly anything. A
greater number of facts have been collected with respect
to the transmission of the most trifling, as well as of the
most important characters in man, than in any of the
lower animals; though the facts are copious enough with
respect to the latter.
So in regard to mental qualities, their transmission is manifest in our dogs, horses, and other domestic animals. Besides special tastes and habits, general intelligence, courage, bad and good temper, &c., are certainly transmitted. With man we see similar facts in almost every family; and we now know, through the admirable labours of Mr. Galton,*(2) that genius which implies a wonderfully complex combination of high faculties, tends to be inherited; and, on the other hand, it is too certain that insanity and deteriorated mental powers likewise run in families.
Compare that 2nd Darwin block-- especially its last sentence-- with this Hitler:
It ‘the People’s State’] must see to it that only
those who are healthy shall beget children; that there is
only one infamy, namely, for parents that are ill or show
hereditary defects to bring children into the world and that
in such cases it is a high honour to refrain from doing so.
the State will
have to avail itself of modern medical discoveries. It must
proclaim as unfit for procreation all those who are inflicted
with some visible hereditary disease or are the carriers of
it; and practical measures must be adopted to have such
people rendered sterile.
Those who are physically and mentally unhealthy and
unfit must not perpetuate their own suffering in the bodies
of their children.
illness is not a disgrace but an
unfortunate accident which has to be pitied, yet… it is a
crime and a disgrace to make this affliction all the worse
by passing on disease and defects to innocent creatures
out of mere egotism. And the State must also teach the
people that it is an expression of a really noble nature
and that it is a humanitarian act worthy of admiration if a
person who innocently suffers from hereditary disease
refrains from having a child of his own
If for a period of only 600 years those individuals would
be sterilized who are physically degenerate or mentally
diseased, humanity would not only be delivered from an
we should have at least the beginnings
of a race from which all those germs would be eliminated
which are today the cause of our moral and physical
succeed in bringing about a
nobler era, in which men will no longer pay exclusive
attention to breeding and rearing pedigree dogs and
horses and cats, but will endeavour to improve the breed
of the human race itself.